|Dealing both John Lackey and Jon Lester a possibility for Red Sox||07.29.14 at 11:24 am ET|
According to industry sources, the Red Sox are considering broad-ranging possibilities between now and Thursday’s trade deadline. The expectation is that the team will sift through possibilities until sometime close to the trade deadline, but at least in theory, the team is willing to entertain virtually any scenario. Specifically, as it relates to the team’s two rotation anchors – Jon Lester and John Lackey — the Sox, according to the sources, are willing to contemplate dealing one or both pitchers.
Of course, the team also is comfortable with the idea of retaining one or both if it doesn’t get the package it wants in return. Why?
Keeping Lester theoretically would allow for additional negotiating opportunities that wouldn’t exist if he was traded. And if Lester did end up leaving as a free agent, the value of a supplemental draft pick is not inconsiderable — particularly given that the associated money could help not only supply the Sox with an additional pick, but could also influence the caliber of other selections (players with signability concerns) whom the Sox could take.
As for Lackey, the fact that he is under team control for 2015 suggests that he could be an important part of the Sox’ rotation foundation going forward, particularly if Lester left.
So, the Sox’ negotiating position appears extremely fluid, with a number of scenarios to consider between now and Thursday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline.
Also worth noting: At a time when the Sox recognize that the rest of the American League East has pulled away from them, the team is open to the idea of dealing Lester within the division. While there’s a prevailing never-say-never approach by the team to any trade scenarios, the Sox appear less inclined to consider dealing Lackey within the division given that he is under team control beyond this year.
|Jon Lester updates: With talks unlikely, likelihood of trade growing (but not one involving Matt Kemp)||07.28.14 at 8:04 pm ET|
According to multiple major league sources, it looks as though the Red Sox‘ decision whether or not to trade Jon Lester most likely will be made close to the 4 p.m. July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, with the likelihood of a deal gaining momentum.
The sources paint the picture of multiple options being talked about throughout baseball, with Lester’s name being surfaced by myriad clubs. According to Fox Sports, interested teams include the Mariners and Orioles.
Sources: #RedSox getting ‘hit hard’ on both Lester and Lackey from most contenders, including AL East clubs.
‘ Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 28, 2014
Per one source, the chances of the Red Sox re-engaging in talks with Lester’s representatives prior to the deadline aren’t likely. With that in mind, and the Sox still not approaching Lester with an offer in line with the current market value, the chances of the lefty being dealt seem to be increasing.
ESPN baseball writer Tim Kurkjian joined Middays with MFB Monday afternoon to discuss trade rumors surrounding Jon Lester, Koji Uehara and other Red Sox players. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Trade rumors linking Lester to the Dodgers have quickly emerged as one of the top stories leading up to the July 31 deadline, with LA outfielder Matt Kemp tied in with many of the trade discussions. Kurkjian said that he doesn’t believe that Boston will trade its ace, but noted that a lot can change in the upcoming days.
“I’m going to say that Jon Lester is not going to be traded, with the understanding that has finally occurred to me in the last five days that it’s a possibility,” Kurkjian said. “I would say 10 days ago, I was told, ‘Jon Lester is not going to be traded.’ And now that possibility exists, therefore it is a fascinating situation, and the Dodger angle is very interesting. They have so much money to deal with, all they care about there is winning a World Series and if they can’t get David Price, than maybe, just maybe, they look to Jon Lester.
“I’m just not sure that Matt Kemp is the right fit here. Granted, the Red Sox need all sorts of outfield help, that’s pretty obvious. He played all three outfield positions this year because he has not done very well in center field, but it just doesn’t seem like this is going to happen - Kemp for Lester – because too much money is involved from Kemp’s end, free agency with Lester, to me, there are just too many moving parts.”
Another prime candidate to be traded is closer Koji Uehara, who has once again been spectacular at the back end of the bullpen (21 saves, 1.51 ERA, 0.76 WHIP) this season. While Kurkjian acknowledged that Uehara could be dealt, he added that a big-market team such as the Red Sox do not have the luxury to just mail it in for the rest of the season.
“It’s going to be real interesting what they do with Koji, who had a second half of the year like almost no closer has ever had. … But a free agent at the end of the year, how much is he going to ask for? The Red Sox have to ask themselves, ‘Is he our closer? Do we need to re-sign him? What’s that going to take?’ I was told all along that they’re not trading Koji if they’re in the race, but if they fall out of the race, they naturally have to at least look into it, and I’m sure that they will,” Kurkjian said. “All sorts of teams need a reliever, that’s for sure. This is where contenders, including the Dodgers, just absolutely load up on as many relievers as the can get down the stretch, because you win in the postseason with a deep, versatile bullpen.”
Kurkjian continued: “This is a different situation here in Boston. These are not the Cubs. This team won the World Series last year, they’re selling out virtually every night, it’s an expensive ticket, you can’t just give up on the season when you’re the Boston Red Sox and that’s the tricky spot that they’re in.”
With the Red Sox 10 1/2 games back in the AL East standings, it appears that all hope is lost for any potential playoff runs in 2014. As a result, multiple players could be sent packing in the coming days, including Mike Carp, Felix Doubront, Stephen Drew and Jonny Gomes. While the Red Sox aren’t likely to gain ground in the standings, Kurkjian said that a potential Red Sox fire sale would not be too large.
“No, I don’t think so,” Kurkjian said. “I think at this time of year, at least this is my experience, you hear 1,000 names and two of them move, or one of them move. You also need to look at the value of the people that you’re trading. Mike Carp is a good player in spurts, he can help you in a lot of ways but he’s not going to bring you much realistically, so if you’re not getting anything back, why would you move him even though he’d like to move on? … That’s the way it works this time of year. When you fall out of it, everyone’s available but it’s very rare that three, four, five guys move from one team at the trade deadline.”
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|Red Sox-Blue Jays series preview||at 3:09 pm ET|
The outlook of the 2014 season looks bleak for the Red Sox.
With just four days until the July 31 trade deadline and 10 1/2 games out of first place, it appears that Boston is ready to wave the white flag on the year and prepare to add assets for future campaigns.
“Anything we do between now and Thursday afternoon will be with a mind toward building as quickly as possible for April of 2015,” said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. “And so that might mean doing very little, it might mean doing a bunch of stuff. It might be between that. I don’t know yet.”
While Boston’s chances of making the playoffs continue to dwindle by the day, the Red Sox still have an opportunity to make up some ground in the division when they host the Blue Jays for a three-game series at Fenway Park.
While the Red Sox trend downward, the Blue Jays have looked resurgent coming out of the All-Star Break. Entering the break, Toronto had dropped eight of its last 10 games and had fallen to four games out of first place in the AL East. Even with injuries to key contributors such as Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie, the Blue Jays have been able to battle back into contention for a playoff spot with a 7-3 record over their last 10 games.
“It is kind of a resilient group,” said manager John Gibbons said after Toronto’s 5-4 win over the Yankees on Sunday afternoon. “We have some guys that didn’t start with us, they’re getting some opportunities and they’re doing good things for us.
“That’s important, guys are filling in and they have to do the job for you. We were struggling going into the All-Star break, so playing better coming out of it was very important to us.”
The Blue Jays got the best of the Red Sox in their last series on July 21-24 at Rogers Centre, taking three of four from Boston and further knocking the Red Sox down in the division standings. Boston has struggled against Toronto this season, posting a 3-7 record against its divisional opponent.
Here are the pitching matchups for the three-game series.
Monday: Clay Buchholz (5-6, 5.50 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (8-10, 4.04 ERA)
Tuesday: Rubby De La Rosa (3-3, 3.54 ERA) vs. Marcus Stroman (6-2, 3.21 ERA)
|David Ortiz: Trading Jon Lester ‘sounds like a rebuilding … Hopefully he sticks around’||07.27.14 at 7:29 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz, who slammed his fifth homer of the seven-game road trip on Sunday to propel the Red Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Rays, took stock of his team at a time when it’s prepared to return to Fenway Park nine games below .500, with rumors swirling of players who might get moved in the coming four days. Ortiz made clear that his preference is to see the Red Sox keep Jon Lester and work to regain their footing with the left-hander.
“Like I always say, I’m just another player here where I’ve got no choice but to agree with whatever,” Ortiz said. “The front office is hard to do and they’ve been talking about trading Jon. That sounds like a rebuilding, that type of situation. I don’t know. There’s not much I can say about it but they’ve probably got their reason to do it. Hopefully it doesn’t happen. Lester is one of the best pitchers in the game. That’s a keeper. … Hopefully he sticks around and keeps on giving us those good seasons that he always does give us.”
|Jon Lester says he would be unlikely to consider extension with team that traded for him||at 6:09 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — With the trade deadline now four days away, Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester remains one of the most fascinating candidates on the market. The left-hander is at the point where he wouldn’t be surprised by a trade, but the Sox would have to get tremendous value in return for him.
That being the case, it’s worth noting that one way the team could get greater value for him in a trade would be if he negotiated an extension with the club that acquired him. If landed as a multi-year contributor, the potential prospect return for Lester could increase considerably.
However, it’s a road that Lester is unlikely to go down. He reiterated the notion that his preference is to be with the Red Sox in 2015 and beyond — even if traded for the duration of this year — and so he finds it hard to fathom that he would be able to make a long-term decision about playing in another city during the very narrow window afforded by the trade deadline — particularly given that Lester said he doesn’t plan to make a decision driven purely by securing top dollar, but instead wants to ensure that he is happy with all facets of any team with which he signs. Read the rest of this entry »
|Ben Cherington: Sox trade moves focused on ‘building as quickly as possible for April of 2015′||07.26.14 at 6:18 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It’s been a tough time for a Red Sox team and front office that had bold visions of defending their 2013 championship. Just over 100 games into the 2014 season, all parties around the team have been forced to recalibrate their view of the world, to wonder what’s been missing en route to a season-long stumble that has the club nine games under .500 with just five games remaining before Thursday’s traded deadline, in a position where the team must contemplate selling off pieces of the club in hopes of putting itself in a better position for next year.
“It’s not the most fun,” GM Ben Cherington said in a conference call. “I much prefer the alternative.”
Yet the alternative no longer appears a choice. The team dealt right-hander Jake Peavy on Saturday to the Giants in exchange for two prospects. That deal wasn’t necessarily a reflection of a seller’s mentality, as the Sox have thought for weeks that parting with Peavy and turning his rotation spot to the team’s young starters did not necessarily represent a step back in 2014.
“He was a guy we were willing to listen on simply because as we looked at the team, we felt like there was some opportunity and value in giving some innings to one of the younger starters, and we thought that we could be just as competitive as a team in doing that,” said Cherington — who noted that the move to acquire Peavy at last year’s trade deadline was one he would make again without hesitation given the protection he offered to the rotation at a time when Clay Buchholz‘s outlook was uncertain. “And we knew that there would be enough interest in Jake to possibly get something back that we like and would help us down the road. He was one player on the team that we were willing to talk about earlier and it just so happened that it came together this week.” Read the rest of this entry »
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